Is there something after death?

April 23, 2007 at 10:45 pm 99 comments

HeavenIn the evolution of humans, I believe one of the primary factors that caused the development of a belief in God is the issue of death and dying. First of all, it’s easier to deal with the death of a loved one when you believe your separation from them is only temporary. After all, you’ll see them in heaven soon. Secondly, it’s easier to face death when there’s a known expectation of what lies beyond the grave.

As a Fundamentalist Christian, I was not afraid of dying. Death simply meant I would be in the presence of God enjoying an eternity of blissful happiness. Of course, there was that possibility I would end up in hell but I worked out a belief system that would not ever put me there.

Now I’m not sure what I believe about death. There’s a part of me that says that my life is all there is and then there’s a part of me that wonders if there is really some sort of existence after life. Do I really have a spirit that lives on beyond the grave?

I would love to hear the thoughts of atheists and de-converting Christians on this subject.

– The de-Convert

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99 Comments Add your own

  • 1. woodpigeon  |  April 24, 2007 at 4:10 am

    It is very difficult for us to imagine being non-existent, and yet in another sense there is nothing terribly strange or weird about it.

    Imagine a sentient robot that one day could talk, understand, think and feel like a human and yet had an on/off switch. Maybe this is sci-fi today but perhaps one day such a being might exist. Is it reasonable to assume that when we press the OFF switch, (or remove his motherboard), that it’s “soul” would go to heaven?

    Also, how many of us remember back to the time when we were not yet born? Our non-existence during the 19th Century, or 1st Century, or 1,000,000 years ago is not really in doubt, is it?

  • 2. Epiphanist  |  April 24, 2007 at 5:11 am

    There is a very fair chance that some of the bits that you are made from will end up as part of another living entity at some time soon. So, yes, excellent chance of life after death, and your bits could even end up as part of a thinking being. If your “spirit” is part of the hardwiring in your brain, then your DNA will pass it on if you procreate.

  • 3. breid  |  April 24, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Maybe, maybe not. But since we really don’t know, why not make the most of the life you have instead of worrying about some unknown out there?

  • 4. Mike C  |  April 24, 2007 at 11:40 am

    As an “agnostic theist” (I really like your categories!) I don’t believe in an “eternal soul” if by that we mean some intangible, ethereal part of ourselves that floats around in our bodies somewhere and then goes to heaven when we die.

    But I do believe in bodily resurrection. I think this is the historic teaching of Christianity – that one day we will be restored to a similar sort of physical/spiritual existence as we experience now, except without some of the weaknesses and corruption we have now.

    I can’t prove this. It’s based simply on my belief in God’s justice.

    Just my .02

  • 5. Karen  |  April 24, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Strangely enough, I think I was more scared of death as a Christian than I am now as an atheist.

    It’s not that I didn’t believe in heaven – I did, and I had the assurance of salvation. Somehow though, I still dreaded death and definitely didn’t like thinking about it.

    Now, perhaps, I am resigned to death being the end and resigned to the fact that it happens to us all and there’s nothing I can do to change it. Being brutally honest with myself is a good mind-cleanser, I think, and keeps me focused on making the most of every minute of this life, and enjoying it while I can.

    Is there something beyond the grave? Perhaps – I don’t know. What I’m quite persuaded of is that it’s not going to be the heaven and hell of Christian theology, so I’ll have to discover it when I get there! Meanwhile, I don’t worry about it. Too much else to do right here and now. ;-)

  • 6. Epiphanist  |  April 24, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    aA, you might get away with it! They might not be bright enough to catch on, but I know you are.

  • 7. agnosticatheist  |  April 24, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Epiphanist,

    Do I know who you are? Email me at agnosticatheism@gmail.com.

    BTW, your comment *seem* to imply that I am somehow being deceitful. Choosing to be anonymous and intentionally deceiving are two different issues.

    aA

  • 8. agnosticatheist  |  April 24, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Karen,

    Is there something beyond the grave? Perhaps – I don’t know. What I’m quite persuaded of is that it’s not going to be the heaven and hell of Christian theology, so I’ll have to discover it when I get there! Meanwhile, I don’t worry about it. Too much else to do right here and now.

    That’s pretty much my view as well. I’m agnostic as to what’s there but I know for sure it’s not the Christian’s heaven or hell.

    aA

  • 9. HeIsSailing  |  April 25, 2007 at 5:52 am

    Thus saith Karen:
    “Now, perhaps, I am resigned to death being the end and resigned to the fact that it happens to us all and there’s nothing I can do to change it. Being brutally honest with myself is a good mind-cleanser, I think, and keeps me focused on making the most of every minute of this life, and enjoying it while I can.”

    I struggled mightily with heaven and hell, and when I finally lost the fear of it, I could finally come to the conclusion that the existance of either made little sense. And Karen, it is just like you say here, that once I realized that in all likelyhood, we were going to just *die*, with no eternal judgement afterward, it is a huge relief. It is peaceful this way – and I don’t have to worry about my family facing eternal damnation.

  • 10. Mike C  |  April 25, 2007 at 11:01 am

    What I’m quite persuaded of is that it’s not going to be the heaven and hell of Christian theology, so I’ll have to discover it when I get there!

    Me too, oddly enough. I’m a Christian, and I believe in an “afterlife” but I doubt that it’s going to look anything like the traditional Christian conceptions of heaven and hell. We Christians have gone grossly wrong when it comes to our understanding of our own teachings in this area, IMHO.

  • 11. Karen  |  April 25, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    We Christians have gone grossly wrong when it comes to our understanding of our own teachings in this area, IMHO.

    Not only that, but Christian teaching on the topic (in my experience) is heavily influenced by history, culture, other religious ideas, and even things like art and literature (Dante’s Inferno, Pilgrim’s Progress and the like).

    Someone on the a-devilist (I love that term!) thread mentioned the Peretti books and I’d add today’s Left Behind series. All those pop-culture notions get incorporated into pop-Christian teaching and oftentimes it is almost unrelated to anything even in the bible.

  • 12. Mike C  |  April 25, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Good point Karen. A great book about this is “The History of Hell”, which traces our conceptions of Hell from Hebrew thought and the influences of Zoroastrianism, through the New Testament, Dante, Milton, etc. Oddly enough, the book is written by a former Playboy Playmate with no scholarly credentials, but it is still well written and well-researched.

  • 13. honjii  |  April 28, 2007 at 2:27 am

    Is there something after death?

    Decomposition.

  • 14. arrgjonsmad  |  May 8, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Though i am nether of the people you want to hear from, i just had to ask you aA…

    When you did believe, did you ever wonder if God made an earth before our present earth, or if there is another one?

    Im past all of this now of course, but have yet to find someone with an amagination like the one i once had.

  • 15. dmcal52  |  December 15, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Hello all,

    First of all, to have any kind of understanding regarding anything, we must go to the author of life, death and all things. The word of God gives us the answers to these questions and here is how we can know the truth of these matters:

    “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carreid along by the Holy Spirit.”
    (2Pet.1:20-21)

    And

    “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correction and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    Since we have just read what God’s word says about the assurrance of his word, here is his promise to those who have received Christ:

    “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Chrisat will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”
    (1Thes.4:16 & 1Cor.15:51)

    For those who are not in Christ, please read (Luke 16:19-31).
    This is the story of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man is in Hades and is still there as I am typing this and will continue to be there along with the rest of the faithless, which is in torment in flame until the resurrection of the lost dead takes place at the end of the millennial reign of Christ:

    “Then I saw a great white throne and him who seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyones’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

    The dead here is referring to all those who are not in Christ, the unfaithful. This is their future destination, first Hades and then the great white throne judgment, then the lake of fire.

    “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    If you reject Christ and wait to find out what will happen after you die, it will be too late and you will be one of those standing at the great white throne.

  • 16. BigHouse  |  December 15, 2009 at 9:19 am

    dmcal, thanks for the Bible lesson.

    Now, what evidence do you have for your assertions that the Bible was God-breathed and contains truth, rather than myths, legends, and human stories?

  • 17. LeoPardus  |  December 15, 2009 at 11:49 am

    dmcal52:

    *sigh* another dimwit who can’t be bothered to even read the f***in big-ass banner at the top in order to figure out what site he’s stumbled into.

  • 18. dmcal52  |  December 15, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Um, which part of the following verses didn’t you understand?

    “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carreid along by the Holy Spirit.”
    (2Pet.1:20-21)

    And

    “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correction and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    These verses are from the word of God, so if you do not recognize these as reliable, then you have bigger problem and that is that you have no faith in the validity that this is God’s word and therefore, you are unteachable. I could go on and cite all of the prophecies made about Christ centuries and millennia prior to his arrival. The prophecies that were written in regards to him being born of a virgin and even prophecies concerning Judas who would betray him hundreds of years before it happened. I could even go on about the prophecies about the mark of the beast and the fact that we have the prototype for an RFID chip that is being manufactured of subdermal use for the purpose of making purchases, but if you don’t believe that the word of God is actually his word, then it would be a moot point, because this is about faith and without faith, it is impossible to please God.

  • 19. dmcal52  |  December 15, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Who’s the dimwit, look in the mirror

  • 20. BigHouse  |  December 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    dmcal, you can’t use the Bible as evidence that the Bible is what it says it is. Otherwise, don’t all other religious texts have the same claim to the truth?

    Try again.

  • 21. BigHouse  |  December 15, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    And as Leo stated rather harshly, it would behoove you to do some reading about who we are and what this site is about before preaching. You might learn something.

  • 22. LeoPardus  |  December 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Post #19. Thanks for showing us your Christian love of Jesus dmcal52. Really makes me want to listen to you, follow your god, go to your kind of church, etc.
    syanara

  • 23. BigHouse  |  December 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Now wait a minute, Leo.

    You called him a dimwit and when he responds in kind, you chastise him for his manners? What does that say about our board and whether it’s worthy of particpating in?

    I really hope things get better for you because your “angry atheist” state you are in makes the board a less comfortable place to come to.

    Come to think of it, weren’t you not too long ago admonishing Neese for a similar “face” she was putting on th board with some of her angrier posts?

  • 24. LeoPardus  |  December 15, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    He walks in here with his “I’m the know-it-all who’s gonna set these bible-ignorant bubbas stratight” attitude.
    Doesn’t bother to find out where he is.
    Shows a HUGE arrogant ego.
    Basically violates any and every standard of what anyone would understand a “Christian” is supposed to be.
    I say he’s a dimwit, and he reacts like a typical grade-schooler. Nyah nyah, back at yah.

    Any “christian” is expected to hold to a higher standard. After all they’re supposed to have the love of god, the holy spirit, jesus in their heart. When persecuted, mocked, and stoned, they are supposed to respond with love and forgiveness and gentleness.

    I expect dmcal52 and any and all “christians” who come in here to behave with decorum NO MATTER WHAT kind of greeting they get.

    Their god tells them to.

    When they fail to, I’ll slam ‘em for it. If they don’t like it, they can go read their holy book some more.

  • 25. LeoPardus  |  December 15, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    And please to note that Christians who come here with decency and respect (like Joe) have no trouble getting respect and entirely civil exchange from me.

  • 26. BigHouse  |  December 15, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    So, you expect them to hold to a higher standard set by a deity you claim is false? That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    Common decency should be human-driven, irrespective of your deity beliefs or lack thereof.

    And, I will echo past sentiments that the big red exclamation point information is poorly placed and inconspicuous to casual visitors. If it is a necessity to read before posting, then it needs to be made more prominent.

  • 27. Joe  |  December 15, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    You might want to make the exclamation point a bit bigger. Then have a separate box underneath entitled “Attention Christian Readers who choose to ignore the red exclamation point”.

    This box would have the universal middle finger symbol as a marker.

    Just a suggestion.

  • 28. Joe  |  December 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    :) Just kidding.

  • 29. LeoPardus  |  December 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    It makes no friggin’ sense at all. But I’m not the one who is claiming that the Jewish mythology collection is the universal standard for human behavior.

    And yes. the big, red exclamation point bit needs to be moved up to the TOP OF THE PAGE.

    I know our Admin has been busy with a number of things of late. Hopefully he’ll notice this thread and have a few moments to move the exclamation point.

  • 30. Converge77  |  December 15, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    I know that this article is old but it does speak to a continual concern of mine. I grew up in the church and was actively involved in it from as far back as I can remember till I was in my early twenties. In the last 5-7 years I away from it but remained loyal to my faith and the ideas I had been taught. In the last 2-3 years I separated myself from those as well and allowed myself to consider the arguments and ideas of athiest and agnostics (arguments and ideas which used to terrify me and shake my less than stable faith).

    The one thing I have really been unable to shake though is the fear of death…if a god exists. Even as a christian I did not care for the idea of heaven very much. It’s was only appealing as alternative to hell. I still have no desire for heaven and I would be overjoyed to know that death resulted in the simple extinguishing of my conciousness, but I do have a weird fear of hell/judgment. I have trouble shaking this and I feel like I am living an emotionally/intellectually dishonest life as a result. I have rejected christianity 99%, but I still reserve the right to 1% as if it is some sort of mystical lifeline or spiritual bailout, simply because I am afraid. I have no idea what to do about this.

  • 31. Joe  |  December 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Converge (#30)—

    It’s kind of like being 25 miles from home and realizing you might have left the stove on. And there’s no one to call to be sure. You are 99% sure you shut it off, but there is still a seed of doubt. Until you actually find out if it is off or not eat will eat at you. I think maybe the thought of hell can be kind of like that, except on a bit bigger scale.

  • 32. SnugglyBuffalo  |  December 15, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    I agree that the exclamation post needs to be placed more prominently. Top of the page would be better, though I’m still partial to putting it right next to the comment box. And I still like the idea of adding a checkbox that you have to check or uncheck that says you’ve read that post before it will let you comment.

  • 33. BigHouse  |  December 15, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I agree, SB. Good suggestions.

  • 34. Quester  |  December 15, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Converge,

    You are not alone in this. I wrote an article on this site last year to address precisely that concern. Reading it might help you, or not.

    http://de-conversion.com/2008/12/09/fighting-fear/

    I know reading up on the exlusivist, inclusivist and universal understandings of salvation, and realizing that all had scripture for and against them, and none had any actual evidence to support them, really helped bring me where I am today.

  • 35. Converge77  |  December 16, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Quester,

    I appreciate the link. I come from a reformed presbyterian background with a strong Calvinist leaning and despite the countless sermons I heard about grace, it was always the teachings of eternal damnation (often based simply on god’s choice and not any actions of my own) that struck a deep chord with me. While most people latched onto the hope and joy that grace would provide, I was struck by the possibility that all of my best intentions and actions were worthless because maybe there was a god who had made up his mind long ago that I was out of the club. I always felt this was the end I was destined for an it terrified me. Again, I never really found the idea of heaven comforting, but it sure as hell beat getting roasted in an eternal barbecue. Hopefully, this fear will pass with time and I’ll learn to accept death as a natural process and not a potential gateway to a truly shitty situation.

  • 36. Quester  |  December 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I hear you. This was a hard one for me to get past, and I did so before the concept of deconversion was one I’d even heard of. It took years, though, and it prepared me to accept my loss of faith in ways Iwould not have guessed. Best wishes. Let us know if we can help.

  • 37. "those who are dead are not dead, they're just living in my head"  |  May 15, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I think this is a subject to become MAD of. Although, it is very simple: The human doesn’t know. I think there are billions of possibilities of what is coming after death. Every thing you can invent is possible: we become ghosts, we go to heaven/hell, we become animals, we go to another universe/dimension, we won’t exist anymore, or we go to something that really IS there, but of which we don’t know that it exists. This last possibility is very evident, because those ‘unknown’ worlds could be ANYTHING.
    We just don’t know, and I think we will never.

  • 38. Don McAllister  |  May 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    To BigHouse and all the rest of the “De-convereted.”

    I am truely afraid for all of you! How long do we live? A mere 80 to a 100 years maybe? Then comes the death of this body! Atleast we agree on that. Since most here don’t believe that the word of God is exactly that, His word, then I guess that you will have to wait until you die to find out the truth, but of course that will be too late. For we are saved by “Grace” through “Faith,” which is the opposite of what you are demonstrating. Not only that, but when you denied Christ, that is, became “De-converted, ” He denied you as well! For in your posts, you are publically denying him. Oh, but we don’t believe this is God’s word, that only men wrote it. Then you can sit around and pat yourselves on the back and find out as soon as you take that last breath to the point of no return. For once you die, your record is sealed. No Jesus, no forgiveness and no eternal life! Only seperation from God, loss of well being and complete ruin in the lake of fire.

    I say this so that I might spark some fear of God in anyone who is reading this, because you know that you are all going to die at some point. Are you really willing to roll the dice on this. I guarantee you, it will come up snake eyes! To exit this world without Christ as your Lord is spiritual suicide!

    Jesus said “Blessed are those who believe, but have not seen.”

    That’s the thing about faith, God has made it so that you won’t know until you get there, trusting in Him that his word is the truth. So we keep going from faith to faith, running the race to get the prize until the race is over.

    No need to respond to this post, as I know that from what I’ve read here, many of you don’t place any validity in the word of God. Just remember that some day, you are all going to come to the end of this life and when you find the truth out, it will be to late to say “Ok Lord, now I believe,” because the time for faith will be over at that point.

    Also remember the following:

    “I don’t believe in God” does not equal “God does not exist.”

    If you have turned your back on the only one who shed his blood for you and took upon himself the wrath that you and I deserve, then who is left to cover your sins?

    One more thing, if you never return to Christ, then all that you have done, all your sin and all that you have written here, will be brought to you as a witness against you in the day of judgment, including what I have written here and you will be without excuse.

    My hope is that you will all think very hard about this or there is always plan “B” and that is, you can wait and find out at the end of your lives, but I can guaruntee you won’t like it.

  • 39. HeIsSailing  |  May 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Don McAllister says:

    “Just remember that some day, you are all going to come to the end of this life and when you find the truth out, it will be to late to say “Ok Lord, now I believe,” because the time for ….”

    Don, one of the reasons I left Christianity is that there is simply no reason to accept the claims it makes about the nature of reality. Your comment is a clear example of this. It is nothing but a scare story. “You better convert now, because some day you will die, and then it will be too late…”. This comment tells me that you can give us no reason to believe other than this idle threat, no different from a boogie-man story. These stories can only frighten children who must hide under the blankets for fear of the dark. Children are frightened of the unknown because of their ignorance. But us de-converts have grown beyond that. We doubted, we searched, we investigated the claims about this post-mortem judgement that we were told to believe; we held them up to the light of free and rational inquiry, and in the end I find no difference between threats of divine judgement and childish ‘La Llarona’ legends.

    Sorry Don, if you want me to accept your Faith, you are going to have to do better than try to scare us. We are not ignorant. We are not children, and we don’t scare easily.

  • 40. BigHouse  |  May 17, 2010 at 9:10 am

    How did I earn top billing as recipient of the fire and brimstone sermon?

  • 41. ACN  |  May 17, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I couldn’t tell you, but obvious troll is sure obvious. :)

  • 42. LifeTrekker  |  May 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Don,

    I’m just curious, but how are you so certain that Christianity is right and all the other religions in the world are wrong? Have you studied them? Have you looked at the “exclusive truth” claims of Islam for example? What if Mohamed was right and Christ was wrong? (I personally don’t think that either one of them was right, but that is just me. We are talking about you right now.) You had better start studying up on your world religions. You wouldn’t want to get this decision wrong, now would you? (Besides, 77 virgins sounds better than clouds and harps, doesn’t it? But of course, you won’t find out until you die, now will you?)

  • 43. Thinker  |  August 9, 2010 at 12:53 am

    My family believes in Christianity and I still am “Christan” to them, but what i don’t get is how there could be loving god for you after death, when he lets horrible crimes go on in the world, like massacres in Africa, murder, rape does he love those people? All of those things just make a loving god to me unreal, and anyway my question is if God is prefect how can he deny some person from another religion that does more good in the world and shows more love than any Christan. Does that person go to hell for not being in the right religion. I believe that there is a slight chance that something in us goes somewhere, were that is I have no clue. I think also there is a good chance that nothing happens and we just turn off and that religion is just for people that cant stand the idea of a reality without them in it. I am almost at peace with this subject and am going to make the most of this life.

  • 44. Don McAllister  |  August 9, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Thinker,

    You said:
    “All of those things just make a loving god to me unreal, and anyway my question is if God is prefect how can he deny some person from another religion that does more good in the world and shows more love than any Christan. Does that person go to hell for not being in the right religion.”

    Hello, first of all, if by saying “another religion” you mean, one that doesn’t recognize Christ, then the answer is, because if there were many ways to abtain forgiveness of sins and to inherit eternal life, then Christ would have shed His blood in vain. He came and did what we could not accomplish and that was to live a perfect, sinless life on our behalf, which is what God requires and then paid the penalty for our sins by the shedding of His blood. For the word of God states that “unless there is a shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sins.”

    Furthermore, Jesus said, anyone who tries to enter in another way is a liar and a thief. By having faith in Hiim, we, like father Abraham are credited with Christ’s perfect life, that is, His perfect life is imputed to us and so, through our faith God the Father sees us as perfect, even though we are not. It is the grace of God, a free gift. This is a matter of a perfect, sinless life and the shedding of His blood for our atonement.

    Secondly, no one will be justified by doing “Good works,” because we are not saved by works, but in fact, we are saved by grace through faith. The covenant of faith was introduced to Father Abraham when God said that He would give him son. The faith part was that, Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was also in her 90’s, but Abraham settled it in his heart that God was able to do what he had promised and God’s word says that, because of his faith, he was credited with righteousness. Since we are saved by grace through faith, a person can do all the good works that he or she wants, but without faith in the gospel (Christ crucified, buried and resurrected), there is no forgiveness for sins and no eternal life. For the word of God says:

    “whoever has the Son has life, but whoever does not have the Son will not see life and the wrath of God rests upon him.”

    If you think that there is a good chance that nothing happens when you leave this world, that is, when you die, then I would have to say that the burden of proof is on you, because I have a book here that tells me what happens, where your conclusion is based on an assumption. This isn’t about religion or church, this is about a personal decision and confession believing that Jesus is who He says he is, that He shed His blood for you personally and the belief that He came out of that grave as He promised He would and then sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He continues to make intercession for us as our High Priest. I seriously hope that you are not like some here who are willing to wait until they take their last breaths only to find out the truth, with no way change your mind. For once a person dies, their record is sealed. No Jesus, no salvation and no eteral life. Only separation from God and the lake of fire.

    Think about it and think hard, because there is no turning back once you die. And Jesus said:

    “Whoever confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father and His holy angels, but whoever denies Me before me, I will also deny him before My Father and His angels.

    By the way, De-converted does not make anyone exempt from their accountablity to God. All you have done is made the decision to not have faith, but it does not change the fact that everyone will stand before God and I choose to do that with my sins covered by the blood of Christ, where I will not be accountable for any of my sins. I hope that you will make the same choice.

  • 45. HeIsSailing  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Don, back in May, I said, in comment 39:
    Don, one of the reasons I left Christianity is that there is simply no reason to accept the claims it makes about the nature of reality.

    LifeTrekker added this question:
    I’m just curious, but how are you so certain that Christianity is right and all the other religions in the world are wrong?

    Thinker added this question:
    what i don’t get is how there could be loving god for you after death, when he lets horrible crimes go on in the world, like massacres in Africa, murder, rape does he love those people?

    You replied with a 9 paragraph sermon, which anybody born in a Christian society has already memorized long ago. However we did not ask for a sermon. We asked you for reasons why you believe. You did throw one reason for your belief, buried in more idle threats:

    … because I have a book here that tells me what happens…

    That’s it? Don, I have lots of books. You believe because a book tells you so? Do you believe everything just because it is in a book?

    Face it. You have no reason. You are afraid. You know you are afraid because all you can give us are scare stories for belief.

    Think about it and think hard, because there is no turning back once you die.

    And you believe this because… … .a BOOK tells you so?? Don, I repeat what I said back in May. We are not children. We don’t scare easily. Your “reasons” for belief are pathetic and cowardly.

  • 46. Ubi Dubium  |  August 9, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Thinker, please ignore Don. He’s being a troll, and I’m sure he hasn’t said anything you have not heard a million times before. Keep thinking! If there are any particular questions you would like to discuss, you might want to sign up at the community site (link at top right of this page) and let us know what is on your mind.

  • 47. Don McAllister  |  August 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Helsailing,

    I would pray that you would scare easily, for the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. In regards to my reason, I believe that I gave the answer in that, this is a matter of the shed blood of Christ. He is what all the shed blood was pointing to during the time of the law and Israel, where everthing was sprinkled with blood. As I said, if there were many ways to get to God, then the shedding of His blood would have been in vain. Jesus came so that you and I would not get the judgment that we deserve; this is the love of God. You are free to believe whatever you want and do whatever you want, I am only contending for the truth of God’s word.

  • 48. Hendy  |  August 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    So much shed blood. Crikies.

    Don, one thing I’ve always wondered… could Jesus have suffered any more? Could, perhaps bamboo shoots have been inserted under his finger nails prior to being put on the cross? Or hair pulled out? Or anything else like this (I’ll keep it from being any more graphic)?

    Or is it not required to think that he suffered the most of any human ever in all of existence and all of the future? I kind of thought that it was but I can think of far worse ways to die.

    As some have pointed out by Julia Sweeney, “Jesus had a bad weekend for our sins.”

    It would seem that in order to truly enter in a share our suffering, Jesus should have had it at least as bad as those in 3rd world countries who live on the brink of death-by-starvation their entire lives.

    I can almost foresee a potential response that Jesus suffered spiritually/emotionally more than any human possibly could and thus he did, in fact, suffer the greatest of anyone. Right.

  • 49. BigHouse  |  August 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    You are free to believe whatever you want and do whatever you

    With the caveat that your all-loving and just god who created us will torture us for eternity if we get it wrong. Got it.

  • 50. HeIsSailing  |  August 9, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Don,

    Fear. It is all you have to go on. It is what your entire belief system, your whole life revolves around. Fear of an angry God who can toss you or I or anybody else into Everlasting Torment, and be morally correct in doing so, because you believe we deserve no better.

    don, I used to believe God would cast my mother, father, brother and sister into Everlasting Fire, but save me, his elect favorite – because I believed and accepted the correct things about Jesus.

    Going through life like that for several years was driving me crazy. I was terrified of the torture God had in store for the family I loved.

    I finally analyzed it. faced it, rejected the fear, and accepted the fact that Hell is just a scare story with no basis for belief. It was hard – but I did it.

    Life is so much better. I do not break down in tears thinking about the fate of my family any more. I have true Hope for the future. For their future as well as mine.

    Don, you may pray that I fear your God, but I pray (not literally) that you realize that there is a better life outside one dictated by fear and hopelessness.

  • 51. Don McAllister  |  August 10, 2010 at 1:43 am

    To Bighouse,

    Hello, let me ask you something. Since God is Soverein and He created all things, who are we to question what He does or how He does it? He showed His love to us by sending His Son to pay for sin on our behalf and to take upon Himself the wrath that we deserve. He is offering forgiveness of sins and eternal life in exchange for faith. For those who reject Him, He has established and made the consequences know through His word. What do you hope to accomplish by resisting Hiim? It is amazing to me in that people say “I don’t believe in God” and “I don’t need God,” yet they don’t understand that everything they have and enjoy on this earth, God created. When you reject God, you are saying “I don’t want or need you” and so, along with that goes all of the pleasures and things of this life that God provides. What do you expect if you reject His offer of eternal life provided through His Son, who shed His blood for you and you reject Him? A third of the angels rebelled against Hiim by Lucifers trafficing and the Lake of Fire was created for them as well as anyone who follows after them. The fact is that, if you are not for God, then you for Satan, whether you like it or not, because there is no gray area. I fear God and love God and He should be feared, for He created all things and is above all things and He has power over life and death, heaven and Hell. If anyone is to be feared, it would be Him.

    Also, I do not break down in tears in fear for my future, because I have faith in His promises and His promises are sure. Furthermore, there is no life without God. So, you may live a life without Christ, but someday you are going to have to stand before Him and give an account of why you rejected His offer of salvation, that’s guaranteed. I’m looking forward to eternity, for this world is about to suffer what the prophets have been speaking of for thousands of years and that being “The Day of the Lord,” where God will pour out His wrath upon a sinful and Christ rejecting world, bringing human governments to an end and establishing His. The amazing thing about that is, even though they will know that it is God who is pouring out His wrath upon the earth, His word says, that they still will not repent of their sins and in fact curse Him.

    Also, in regards to what you said

    “I have true Hope for the future.:

    That future ends when you take your last breath. The true hope for a future is eternity with alll that God has promised, with a new heaven, new earth and a new Jerusalem, with no more, pain, sorrow, death and no more curse. For He says that the former things will pass away and He will make all things new. Faith in His Son Jesus Christ is the answer, without Him there will be no hope of eternal life, but only wrath and complete ruin and destruction. These are His words, I just communicate what He has taught me from His word for the last 37 years.

    If anyone wanted any kind of proof, just keep your eyes on the technology for doing business. The world has been contually in the process of becoming cashless and will continue towards that end.

    Also, keep your eye on the subdermal computer chips that are already being manufactured, because this is the prophecy of Revelation 13 regarding the mark of the beast. When you begin to see this technology being used more and more for the purpose of buying and selling, then understand that this is what was prophecied two thousand years ago and by this you should know God’s word is true.

  • 52. dmcal52  |  August 10, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Greetings Hendy,

    In regards to your question, first of all, we must remember that it was God himself who kinned himself to us taking on flesh in order to be our kinsman redeemer, that is, He paid the ransom for us. So it is our creator who suffered on our behalf. That alone should demonstrate the love that God has for us.

    Second, in regards to what he suffered, His word says that “He was more marred than any man” and that regarding Him being on the cross, the prophecy says, “I can count all my bones and they are bent out of joint.”

    We also know from the gospels that, He was whipped prior to being crucified. One of the whips that was used by Roman soliers was the Roman Flagrum or Flagellum, which was designed to quickly remove the flesh from the body of a victim. This was a short whip made of two or three leather (ox-hide) thongs or ropes connected to a handle. The leather thongs were knotted with a number of small pieces of metal, usually zinc and iron, attached at various intervals. Scourging would quickly remove the skin. scourging among the Romans was a more severe form of punishment and there was no legal limit to the number of blows, as with the Jews, which was 40 lashes minus one. Deep lacerations, torn flesh, exposed muscles and excessive bleeding would leave the criminal “half-dead.” Death was often the result of this cruel form of punishment though it was necessary to keep the criminal alive to be brought to public subjugation on the cross. The Centurion in charge would order the “lictors” to halt the flogging when the criminal was near death.

    Also, Prior to Him going to the cross, he had a platt of thorns pressed onto his head, His beard was pulled out by hand, he was beaten and spit on and after all this, He was made to carry His own cross, where at some point He must have become too weak to carry it, because a man named Simon from Cyrene was made to carry it for Him the rest of the way.

    He suffered all this, but was without sin. It was for us, His creation,mankind that He went through all of that.

    Regarding what Julia Sweeney said, “Jesus had a bad weekend for our sins.” This nothing short of a slap in the face to Jesus.

    God could have said, “Everyone is forgiven” without Christ’s sacrifice, but because He is a Righteous God and keeps His word, He provided salvation staying within His own word, because He had already demonstrated that unless there is a shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sins. This was demonstrated back when Abel offered fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flocks and it was acceptible to God. It was also demonstrated in the tent of meeting and the temple at Jerusalem, where all of the furniture, dishes and the articles of the temple where all sprinkled with blood. Not only that, but all of the animal sacrifices that were continually done, all these pointing to the One that was soon to come onto the stage of history and become the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all, Jesus Christ.

    In answer to another of your questions, “could Jesus have suffered any more?” The answer is, His suffering and His death were obviously an acceptible sacrifice to God the Father on our behalf and that is all that matters. And we know that it was acceptible, because right after Jesus gave up His Spirit, the curtain in the temple that separated the Holy of Holies where God dwelt inbetween the cherubim, that rested on the ark of the covenant, was torn in two, which was God’s way of saying, “Now you have access to Me.” Prior to Jesus sacrifice, no one was aloud to enter the Holy of Holies, except for the high priest and that, once a year. If there was any sin left unatoned for and the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, he would immediately be killed. That is why they attached a bell to the bottom of his robe and a rope around one leg so that, If the they could no longer hear the bell, they knew that he was dead and they would just pull him out by the rope, because they themselves could not go in and get or they would suffer the same consequences.

    Anyway, I know that it was a little long winded, but I hope that this more than answered your questions and thensome.

  • 53. BigHouse  |  August 10, 2010 at 10:42 am

    God could have said, “Everyone is forgiven” without Christ’s sacrifice, but because He is a Righteous God and keeps His word, He provided salvation staying within His own word, because He had already demonstrated that unless there is a shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sins

    At least here you admit that your god is bloodthirsty and purposefully went down this violent path, rather than a more gentle and loving path.

    And god loved us so much that he sent a 2000 year old group of texts riddled with inconsistencies and vagueries to communicate with us. Even the most pedestrian of mortal parents demonstrate significantly more love by communicating directly with their kids and showing them undeniable forms of affection and care.

    Keep your crazy book and slavish devotion to it.

  • 54. Hendy  |  August 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    @dmcal52:

    I actually don’t take god sending Jesus as an “obvious sign of his love for us.” I think it would be far more loving for him to simply reveal himself clearly to me in a manner that is unambiguous. The word of Islam says that Jesus was not god, but a prophet. Two self-authenticating holy books contradict one another. Furthermore, the Bible doesn’t claim to have a pure gold counterpart in heaven like the Qur’an.

    Oh, and Ps 22 is:
    …and all my bones are out of joint…
    many lines
    …I can count all my bones

    What would it mean for Jesus to say “I am a worm and not a man” in v6? I don’t see that as applying to him…

    I’m pretty sure people have endured far worse than Jesus with respect to pain. If scripture says the curtains ripped and a bunch of people got out of their graves, I guess it proves that god was happy with what his son/his self did for us/himself. How do you think those people climbed out of the ground, by the way? A bunch of 1in. punches like in Kill Bill?

    I think the main point is I’ve been doubting for 7mos and it sucks. God knew me in the womb before he formed me, must have known my tendency to research the sh*t out of things and my attempts at rational decisions and thus knew that I would be exactly where I am. I honestly can’t believe in a probable god… even more so, I can’t believe in one that strikes me as quite improbable. As I’ve told my men’s group, “Blame Jesus for my doubt.” I didn’t ask for this and have prayed and been prayed over many times over the last months with no results. All god has to do is provide clear information that explains all of the difficulties I have away or simply puts them in the right words to make them make sense to me.

    So far,that has not happened. Again, given that he knows me better than I know myself, he knows exactly what I need and by my unbelief I can only assume that he hasn’t given it to me yet.

    Most believers just write this off as it simply being “my choice” to spit in god’s face. The evidence is obviously clear and I just reject it. Hardly, my friend. The ease with which you could reject your conception of reality which includes god right now is the same ease with which I could reject mine. I’m assuming, that is, that it would be extremely difficult for you to simply say, “There probably is no god.” You have whatever snippets of evidence you require to have belief. I do not.

  • 55. HeIsSailing  |  August 11, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Hendy says:
    Most believers just write this off as it simply being “my choice” to spit in god’s face. The evidence is obviously clear and I just reject it. Hardly, my friend.

    I hear you. This little quip reminded me of an old article archived on this site that I wrote after I had been doubting Christianity for about a year. I believe I still considered myself a Christian when I wrote it. You might enjoy it:

    http://de-conversion.com/2007/08/21/rejecting-the-obvious-truth-of-the-gospel/

  • 56. Hendy  |  August 11, 2010 at 11:24 am

    @HiS:

    Read the post and think it’s strikingly similar to my own views. Neither of my parents are believers and I thought they were just hard of heart or had misconceived notions about who god was or what the Church was, etc. It was a source of tension and my dad and I debated things at least a few times, me pretty much writing him off as deluded or resentful.

    Now that I started to doubt and began reading, and reading… and reading… I find this so far from the truth as to be ridiculous. I really thought that I would encounter some “knock-out” arguments for my god. I met with those I knew were more learned and read than I because I thought they’d slap me in the face with arguments x, y, and z and evidence a, b, and c and I’d say, “Ooooh. That’s it! Thank you so much for fixing me.”

    Nothing of the sort. They just said what I’d already read and I didn’t think most of the arguments led anywhere other than forcing me to say, “I don’t know how x came about” rather than what they perhaps hoped for: “Oh, right. Therefore god.”

    Anyway, my doubt has brought about a tremendous increase in compassion for non-believers. Even if we’re all wrong, I at least now know that the answer is ridiculously non-obvious and that’s a lesson of itself.

    I’ve recently wondered if the biggest argument against god is that people don’t all believe in him/her/it, or at least not in the same conception.

    The most perfect being ever couldn’t do anything better than what we see on the globe today? Christians who think that their arguments and evidence are superior have to believe that people believe in utter sh*t in comparison like golden plates, thetans/Xenu, etc.

    As a doubter, I think that would cause some anger toward god. I mean, how can he be content letting the best evidence he can do fall on deaf ears because others are convinced they’re possessed by alien spirits and in need of auditing or that the 2nd coming will happen in Missouri?

  • 57. dmcal52  |  August 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

    So Hendy, you said:

    “Now that I started to doubt and began reading, and reading… and reading… I find this so far from the truth as to be ridiculous.”

    What are you finding ridiculous, Christ crucified, buried and resurrected? After I have read many of these posts, I find it hard to fathom so many who are turning away from Him.

    So, let me ask the question, (and I say this for the sake of your position), what if all that the word of God has to say about salvation through Jesus Christ and heaven and hell is true? You have obviously read the word of God enough to know that without acknowledging the shed blood of Christ, that there is no salvation and that means no eternal life. You must also be aware of Hades, the great white throne judgment and the lake of fire. Eternity is a long time and your decision about Chirst is the most important one anyone could make.

    I began reading, reading and reading when I was 14 and continue to do so 38 years later and my faith has only increased. We who are in Christ are to be ready to be persecuted and put death for His name sake and the word of God if that is our fate.It is amazing to me that, right when we are so very close to God bringing this to the end, that is, to the “Day of the Lord,” and people are walking away!

    If anyone ever wanted any kind of physical proof that the word of God is true and that we are in the last days, all one would need to do is look at the subdermal computer chip technology that is going on. John said:

    “He also forced everyone; small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.”

    Now, to be sure, the beast has not yet been revealed, but the technology for the mark has been here for some time. When I saw the first ATM machines come out, I knew that they were significant to what I had been reading in Revelation. Then, I watched as years later, the point of sale system (POS) came into being and I knew that this was the next step in the evolution of that system that would be used regarding the mark of the beast. The world coninues to become more and more of a cashless society. I have watched as Ikea, Home Depot and many grocery stores have set up self check-out lines so that one can scan all of his own purchases and then just swipe or tap his debit card and be on his merry way. Now, we have subdermal chips that are being manufactured and one its uses are for making purchases. When God’s word says, “So that no one could buy or sell,” buying and selling is credit and debit, which is exactly what one does when he uses his debit card. The strip on the debit card is what allows one to access his or her bank account. Now just shrink that technology down and put it under the skin of the right hand or forehead and you have the device that will be used for the mark of the beast.

    Though we had to get to that technology, it won’t become the mark of the beast unitil the beast comes onto the stage of history and where at the middle point of that seventieth seven (last seven years), he will make all the other methods of buying selling obsolete except for that mark, which will “force” the inhabitants of the earth to either receive that mark or to take their stand for Christ, knowing what that mark represents. This is how the beast and the false prophet force the inhabitants of the earth to receive the mark, by removing the other methods of buying and selling, cash, checks, credit, debit, etc.

    This has always been like a beacon for me and I have watched it over the years and the fact that we now have subdermal chips and that they are in fact being used in buisnesses already, should send up a red flag to those who have diligently studied this prophecy. As time goes on, we will continue to see the world continue to rely more and more on making purchases via computer transaction and we will also see the use of subdermal chips begin to take the place of debit and credit cards, which will work just like the debit card, but instead of being in ones wallet, their bank account access will be under the skin of the individuals right hand or forehead and this is how one will buy and sell.

    So, if you are like the Pharisees who needed to see a sign, that would be the most convincing, unless of course you are like some who will argue, “Oh, that technology was bound to happen.” Yeah, right! John prophecied of this mark that would be used for buying and selling 2000 years ago and now it is upon us and people are walking away from Christ. You want someting tangable, that’s something tanable, that is, the word of God describes it and we are watching it come to pass. So, when you begin to see people making purchases by waving their hands over scanners instead of using debit cards, will you have the same out-look regarding Christ and the word of God as you do now or will you claim coincidence?

  • 58. Hendy  |  August 12, 2010 at 10:14 am

    @dmcal52:

    I think I’ll keep this brief…

    1) I’m incredibly surprised you spent so much text on connecting revelation with subdermal debit/credit cards.

    2) It’s obvious that we’re in the end times? Hasn’t the same been “obvious” for the last 2000 years? As in, “Daddy, are we there yet, are we there yet?” To which daddy has responded, “Oh yes. We’re right on the brink,” for the last 2000 years.

    3) When, exactly, will it end?
    May 2011?
    2012?

    4) All you really did is say, “Are you finding it hard to believe? I find it hard to believe that people are finding it hard to believe.” Where does that get us? Yes, I find it difficult to believe that a human corpse which rotted for a day and a half re-animated and began walking around, eating fish, being subjected to finger probes, and then blasted off like a rocket into the sky. I also have a hard time believing in a man throwing lightning bolts from the sky, a goddess controlling the seas, Xenu, and the 2nd coming occurring in Missouri. I imagine we have a lot in common, actually…

  • 59. Joe  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    dmcal52—-

    I used to post here quite regularly and now just stop in from time to time and read. I have to say that I too have watched the development of the cashless society since 1970 or so when “the Late Great Planet Earth” came out.

    it is truly amazing how the world has changed in the 40 years since then, and how computers and bar codes, and then implants seem to work perfectly into the description of one who gives a “mark” that can control people. A mere “tattoo” (as those in the past defined the mark) could not track anyone, or hold all the information a barcode or implant can. I was intrigued by what you had to say.

    I do have to state though that the majority of people on this blog really do not believe any more. There is a tendency to want to think they do believe, but are just trying to deny it. But in most cases the actual “faith” has truly departed from the person and they can truly say “I used to be a Christian”.

    Not all are mockers—but there are some. I was reading Willaim Gurnall last night who wrote “The Christian in Complete Armour in 1662. He states the following:

    “…While there have always been mockers of holiness the Spirit of God has prophesied that a special kind of scoffer will come on the stage in the last days. Those who laugh at righteousness used to be men and women who openly defied God and wallowed in wickedness – but the Spirit of God tells of a new gang that will mock holiness under the name of holiness.”

    He goes on to say that these will not be those who have never known righteousness, but those who once knew it and departed from the faith, and eventually wind up mocking the very thing that used to be dear to them. And he says that that mocking is far worse than the mocking that comes from one who has never known the truth.

    The very fact that blogs like this exist shows we are in the last days spoken of. The very mockers spoken of in 2 Peter who would appear shortly before the end are here now asking “Where is he? It’s been 2000 years!”—and they are former Christians!

    As I said though, not all are mockers—one “devolves” to such a place in unbelief. Psalm 1 speaks of the man who doesn’t “sit in the seat of the scornful”—-it is a “resting place” the one who turns from God winds up in eventually.

    Thanks for the post. I most likely will not post again for quite a while, but what I was reading last night, combined with what you stated in your post intrigued me.

  • 60. Don McAllister  |  August 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Hello Joe,

    Thank you very much for your response, because I have tell you that, it is very disheartening to see the attitiude, the lack of faith that I have seen here and so to hear someone with the same faith is definitely refreshing.

    regarding what you said, I was immediately reminded of the verse that states: “Where is the promise of His coming? Everything continues as it has from the beginning.” In saying this, they are in fact fulfilling prophecy. The sad part is that, for them , the truth of God’s word will not be known until they take their last breath and of course, that will be too late. Remember Lazarus and the rich man, no one can come back to warn the living.

    I came to a conclusion about a the verse in
    Heb.6:4, but still had a problem understanding how anyone could be in the faith and then not be in it. But after seeing the attitudes that are presented here, the following scripture rings all the more true to me:

    “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who havve tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repententance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

    Of course, that will not be a problem for some here, since they are not concerned about repententance. When I hear attitudes like this, my only concern is to correct and warn, but you can’t do that with those who do not recognize God’s word as the ultimate truth. This is why I brought up the mark of the beast technology in my post. I figured that if I showed something that was said in God’s word and showed that it was in the process of taking place, that this might get some attention.

    Now regarding the mark, since John was seeing a vision of the future, even beyond our present time, he could only relate what he was seeing as a tattoo, mark or etching, because he didn’t have anything else to relate it to, that is, he couldn’t say,
    ” He forces all both rich and poor, free and slave, great and small to receive a computer chip in his right hand or forehead,” ergo tattoo, mark, etching.

    I have been keeping track of the progress of this subdermal chip technology and I know that there is currently a place called the “Barcelona Beach Club,” where they have incorporated an RFID computer implant, which is about the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under the skin and is how they pay for their drinks and which also opens doors to VIP locations within the club. Tuesday night has been dubbed “Chip Night” where there is qualified personal there to inject the chip. Once they recieve it, they are able to order their drinks and then wave their hand over the scanner, which then debits their account. These are just the beginnings of course, but I am confident that we will begin to see the application of this more and more as time goes on. I remember back when the ATM’s and POS systems came out and I told people that we were headed for a cashless society as prophecied in the word of God and they would say, “Oh, the people will never allow their cash to be taken away from them.” Here we are 30 years later and we are more than 90 percent cashless! The fact is, the system that the beast will utilize is here in the form of computer transactions to credit and debit our accounts. We already have the debit card, which performs that function, so just take it one step further and put that technology under the skin; it’s not that much of a stretch.

    Anyway, thanks again for your post, I enjoyed the refreshing in that, their are others of the same faith out there.

  • 61. Don McAllister  |  August 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who havve tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repententance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

    Every part of the truth and will of God should be set before all who profess the gospel, and be urged on their hearts and consciences. We should not be always be speaking about outward things; these have their places and use, but often take up too much attention and time, which might be better employed. The humbled sinner who pleads guilty, and cries for mercy, can have no ground from this passage to be discouraged, whatever his conscience may accuse him of. Nor does it prove that any one who is made a new creature in Christ, ever becomes a final apostate from him. The apostle is not speaking of the falling away of mere professors, never convinced or influenced by the gospel. Such have nothing to fall away from, but an empty name, or hypocritical profession. Neither is he speaking of partial declinings or backslidings. Nor are such sins meant, as Christians fall into through the strength of temptations, or the power of some worldly or fleshly lust. But the falling away here mentioned, is an open and avowed renouncing of Christ, from enmity of heart against him, his cause, and people, by men approving in their minds the deeds of his murderers, and all this after they have received the knowledge of the truth, and tasted some of its comforts. Of these it is said, that it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance. Not because the blood of Christ is not sufficient to obtain pardon for this sin; but this sin, in its very nature, is opposite to repentance and every thing that leads to it. If those who through mistaken views of this passage, as well as of their own case, fear that there is no mercy for them, would attend to the account given of the nature of this sin, that it is a total and a willing renouncing of Christ, and his cause, and joining with his enemies, it would relieve them from wrong fears. We should ourselves beware, and caution others, of every approach near to a gulf so awful as apostacy; yet in doing this we should keep close to the word of God, and be careful not to wound and terrify the weak, or discourage the fallen and penitent. Believers not only taste of the word of God, but they drink it in. And this fruitful field or garden receives the blessing. But the merely nominal Christian, continuing unfruitful under the means of grace, or producing nothing but deceit and selfishness, was near the awful state above described; and everlasting misery was the end reserved for him. Let us watch with humble caution and prayer as to ourselves.

  • 62. Hendy  |  August 12, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Wow. I though I wrote a lot.

    So many words and threats on behalf of the most perfect, loving being ever who surely could have made the peril of eternal torment more accessible to my reason and sensory input.

    Why not a Pauline-style epiphany for all?

  • 63. Quester  |  August 13, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Hendy,

    Why not a Pauline-style epiphany for all?

    Isn’t it interesting that not one single, biblical apostle, including those who are said to have seen Jesus personally, believed without evidence? Thomas is criticized for doubting, but none of them believed without personal, direct revelation. Yet tepid and illogical apologetics and scare tactics are supposed to convince us, when such was insufficient for those who supposedly saw Jesus perform miracles and heard him claim he’d be back after dying? Bizarre.

  • 64. Hendy  |  August 13, 2010 at 12:32 am

    @Quester:

    Absolutely! A sampling of evidence:

    - Mk. 16:11-14: When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared…[They] returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus…rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him…

    - Mt. 28:16-17:. Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

    - Lk. 24: 10-11, 36-42: It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense…While they were still talking…Jesus himself stood among them and said to them…”Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?” [followed by eating fish]

    - Jn 20: Doubting Thomas

    It is interesting, indeed, isn’t it? Every single gospel reports that even those who heard 2nd hand or visually saw him doubted. I find it suspicious that the proofs grow throughout time, as well. Mk/Mt = simple rebukes or affirmations, Lk = eating fish, Jn = full on cavity search.

    I also agree that even though Thomas is rebuked, he’s not denied. I use this same principle in application to miracles. There is not a single story of Jesus denying anyone a miracle when they personally ask, even if he rebukes them for wanting a sign or having little faith. People bring up the “umbrella” reference to “he was unable to do anything there because of their lack of faith,” but it still holds that not a single personal request face to face is ever denied.

    We are to do greater works than these and Peter and Paul apparently carried on the healing via shadows and touching of garments and verbal commands to rise and walk… why did it stop?

  • 65. prairie nymph  |  August 13, 2010 at 1:02 am

    It stopped because we lost faith, right?

    Or was it the other way around?

  • 66. Hendy  |  August 13, 2010 at 1:42 am

    @prairie nymph:

    Ha! The former is what they’d like you to think! I’ve issued a challenge elsewhere proposing that any believer can take as long as he/she wishes to assemble any body of believers (one or more) who are thought of as being full of faith, praying for the right things, aligned with god’s will, etc. to pray for X. In other words, remove all of the typical bullcrap thrown out as excuses for non-answered prayers by handpicking your holy men. Then call down fire on your soaking pile of logs and see what happens.

    Of course it won’t and the fallback is:
    – divine hiddenness
    – a different “time” and “culture” (god already did what he was going to do to show us himself and now we have to live on that)
    – mystery

    That’s about all I can think of as excuses… The ironic thing to me, anyway, is that the request to see prayer and/or signs is exactly the thing god should want to do or be capable of doing. I see no reason why he wouldn’t.

    Heck, I’d even settle for a worldwide inclination toward a particular religion. I think that would be damn convincing. It could be at least as strong as my aversion to eating feces in order to sidewtep the “free-will” defense, since my repulsion for poop is god given and not thought of as overriding my free will.

    Fun topic.

  • 67. Don McAllister  |  August 13, 2010 at 6:17 am

    God’s words, not mine Hendy.

  • 68. Hendy  |  August 13, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Riiiiigggghhht.

    I’m here whenever he would like to deliver the message. The ancients weren’t denied face to face communication. I can’t see why I or anyone else should be…

  • 69. Don McAllister  |  August 13, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Hendy:

    “Isn’t it interesting that not one single, biblical apostle, including those who are said to have seen Jesus personally, believed without evidence? Thomas is criticized for doubting, but none of them believed without personal, direct revelation. Yet tepid and illogical apologetics and scare tactics are supposed to convince us, when such was insufficient for those who supposedly saw Jesus perform miracles and heard him claim he’d be back after dying? Bizarre.”

    And yet all of the Apostles were persecuted and died keeping their testimony of Christ and the gospel. Not only that, but their names are to be written on the 12 foundations of the New Jerusalem. It would seem to me that God is pleased with them and their faith, as they are the pillars of the Church.

    Even one of the men that was crucified next to Jesus started out slandering him, but later had a change of heart and was saved in that instant and went off to paradise.

    And what of the Roman centurion, who after asking Jesus to heal his servant agreed to come to His house, but the centurion replied that he was not worthy for Jesus to come under his roof, but that if Jesus just spoke the word his servant would be healed. And Jesus was amazed, because He had not seen such faith, no not in all of Israel.

    “Yet tepid and illogical apologetics and scare tactics are supposed to convince us, ”

    The problem is not an issue with the truth of God and His word, but it is with you and those on this site who basically have no faith. Yet, there are many of us who continue to be strengthened in faith, because we continue to seek Him and all of His righteousness and are looking foreward to His promise of the resurrection and catching away.

    The difference between the fathful and the unfaithfull would definitely be the Holy Spirit or lack of.

  • 70. Quester  |  August 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    And yet all of the Apostles were persecuted and died keeping their testimony of Christ and the gospel.

    Prove it. Hell, show me one scrap of evidence. You’ve got nothing, Don, but your Holy Trinity of imaginary friends, and a lot of bold, if painfully unoriginal, lies.

  • 71. BigHouse  |  August 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Oh Don, you loaded up two nice bullets into the gun with which to blast your own arguments:

    “The problem is not an issue with the truth of God and His word, but it is with you and those on this site who basically have no faith.”

    If the word of god is truth why does it require faith to believe in it?

    “The difference between the fathful and the unfaithfull would definitely be the Holy Spirit or lack of.”

    If the Holy Spirit is required for faith, how can you blame the faithless if the Spirit isn’t helping him? And how is the faithful to be rewarded if it has nothing to do with him but an exogenous spirit?

    You can’t reason with a fundamentalist so I don’t imagine any useful debate will come from this. Shame, really.

  • 72. Hendy  |  August 13, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    @Don:

    The warm and fuzzy stories you relate are completely unfounded. We literally have no idea if they even happened. I find it striking for those relying upon the Bible as history and stemming from eye witnesses to ignore the lack of mention of anything about Jesus’ mid-lilfe, that Paul does not mention a single word (except the words of the Last Supper which could have just been tradition from Jesus or simply the Apostles), saying, description of his travels or miracle of Jesus. This is the guy where we get all theology and he doesn’t say a thing about the source of that theology. What the heck?!

    Re. martyrs, here’s Carrier on that tradition.

    I’m with BigHouse: how can I be blamed for not having the Holy Spirit. I’ve let others pray over me many, many times in my doubt and nothing has happened. I’ve prayed. I’ve asked for a sign. I’ve been willing for god to communicate with me… nada.

  • 73. withheld  |  August 13, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Well, since we’re feeding this troll:

    Thank you very much for your response, because I have tell you that, it is very disheartening to see the attitiude, the lack of faith that I have seen here and so to hear someone with the same faith is definitely refreshing. </blockquote

    So, you came to a site dedicated to de-converts who by definition have no faith, and you find the attitude disheartening? Do you post on Catholic blogs about the shocking displays of blatant Catholicism?

    There are many, many, many sites where you can go to find people with the same faith. Why do you come here? You bring no arguments, just bible quotes. You bring no reason, just fear of what will happen when we die. We are not interested in your sermons.

    When I hear attitudes like this, my only concern is to correct and warn, but you can’t do that with those who do not recognize God’s word as the ultimate truth.

    Well, it’s good that you are aware of that that.

    This is why I brought up the mark of the beast technology in my post. I figured that if I showed something that was said in God’s word and showed that it was in the process of taking place, that this might get some attention.

    And this is where even most Christians will call you loopy. People have been relating the Book of Revelation to current events since it was written. We are not impressed that you can tie the mushroom induced ravings of John of Patmos to a current piece of technology.

  • 74. Don McAllister  |  August 13, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    To Quester, Big House and Hendy and whoever,

    I have many anwsers and responses to your questions and insults, but I am not going to bother, because it is a moot point, since it is obvious that you are not interested in the truth, your hearts being hardened. And all that I have been seeing here on this site is hatred for Christ, which is worse than one who has never believed at all. So, I will leave you to the comforts of your own beliefs. Since you obviously need proof about Christ like the Pharisees did, I would just say, wait until you die, then you will have all the proof that you could ever want or need, unfortunately by that time it won’t do you any good, because salvation has always been a matter of faith. So, I will leave you with this:

    “Thomas, you believe because you have seen. Blessed are those who believe but have not seen.”

  • 75. Hendy  |  August 14, 2010 at 1:55 am

    @Don:

    Thanks. I look forward to the day when I can at least have certitude in the midst of this ambiguous religious mess… or perhaps just have no consciousness. Who knows.

    I find it odd again and again that it is the one who says, “I don’t know,” who gets made out to be the arrogant, hard-hearted one.

    Don: I don’t find the Christian story convincing and I am simply made how god made me… an analytical, skeptical, careful, open-minded person. I don’t have issues with suspecting that Christianity and other religions might be utterly false or that there is no cosmic force ruling the universe.

    That’s all. If there is evidence, let’s have it. Whatever evidence you think you bring on behalf of god, apparently it is not enough to convince a majority of the world’s population.

    As I wrote HERE, if we don’t convict criminals of temporal crimes without a unanimous vote… why do so with eternal souls on the line? Zeus might smite me if I side with you…

  • 76. ACN  |  August 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Don:

    It is hard to hate someone who I don’t believe exists. I don’t hate christ any more than I hate a movie villain like Darth Vader.

  • 77. prairie nymph  |  August 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    hmm. I may not hate imaginary villains, but I do hate what they stand for. For example- the wizard in The Wizard of Oz tells Dorothy that he is a bad wizard but a good man. Ha! He lied to a child and sent her on quest that would likely have ended in her death because he was afraid of blowing his cover? I truly hate that part of his character.
    The imaginary character of Jesus (as portrayed by others, therefore imaginary) has been responsible for terrible things and also for some wonderful things-
    so, yeah. I hate some of what he has come to represent and love others.

  • 78. Eve's Apple  |  August 18, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    To return to the original question, I am no longer sure that there is anything after death. I think we basically just stop.

    It seems to be a law of biology that all lifeforms, no matter how small or large, must have some kind of physical body. This may be a simple body, as in the case of viruses and microbes, or a complex body as in the case of the higher mammals. Science does not know of any forms of life that are pure spirit or energy.

    Furthermore consciousness requires a physical brain and sensory organs to convey information to that brain. This brain is driven by electrical impulses. Once those electrical impulses cease, that is it. I do not see how a disembodied soul can have any kind of meaningful existence, because there is no brain, no nervous system, no sensory organs. You would have a state of pure energy that cannot think, cannot see, cannot hear, cannot feel, cannot smell. I am not exactly sure what it could do and I don’t think you could call it alive in any meaningful sense of the word, just as electricity is not considered to be alive.

    I think what happens at death is that the electrical energy that powers the brain and other body systems simply dissipates once it stops being produced. There is nothing to go on to any other stage of existence.

  • 79. thin ice  |  August 19, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Thanks, Don Mcallister, for coming on here and reminding what I used to be like. Thanks for confirming more than ever that I will never, ever, while I still have a breath to take, return to the fairy tale world that I used to inhabit, and that you still quite happily occupy.

    While living inside that world, it seemed a wonderful, magical place. Now that I view it from the outside, I see that it was really a prison.

  • 80. Anonymous  |  August 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Eve’s apple- #78

    When I was a kid in elementary school (eons ago lol) they used to show a cartoon that was supposedly made by Martians, of the “Earthling and His daily Life” (or some title to that effect).

    While watching the presentation you quickly begin to realize that these “martians” have confused cars as being the “earthlings”, while ignoring the people inside driving them.

    It shows earthlings “eating”—and of course this is a car at a gas pump. Earthlings “sleeping”–and this is when the car pulls into the garage, etc. Though quite inane we laughed at the thought of them making this mistake–confusing vehicles as “entities”, and not realizing that the true “entities” were the one’s inside driving the cars.

    However, I thought of this when reading your post. You are stating that we are our bodies. But how do we really know that? Sure–from a purely physical angle we can make that deduction. But could there be a higher form of life within us that we cannot measure with physical instruments? Could their exist beings at a higher level than us (angels for example) who are purely spirit?

    Are we perhaps the bridge between the spiritual and the physical, including both realms in our being? I believe so, and do believe that life continues after death. Our bodies are “vehicles” for US–they are not US—just as the car in that stupid martian cartoon is not the earthling itself, but the one inside driving it. Bad analogy—but explains where I am coming from.

  • 81. Joe  |  August 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I don’t post often any more so I forgot to add my name. #80 is me.

  • 82. DSimon  |  August 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Joe, something being possible is not the same thing as it being plausible. Sure, it’s not impossible that we’re inhabited by spirits or something… but it’s also not impossible that I have an invisible and undetectable dragon in my garage.

    So where’s the good evidence for a soul or an afterlife?

  • 83. Blue  |  August 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Still coming back, aren’t you Joe. Good to see a good old liar for Jesus.

    Just so everyone knows Joe is a troll who will say anything to be thought relevant. He’s promised to leave multiple times and also been temporarily banned for a while.

  • 84. dmcal52  |  August 20, 2010 at 12:25 am

    It’s ok Joe, just keep proclaiming the TRUTH of God, which is found in Jesus Christ, but regarding these here, Jesus said:

    “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

    They may be arrogant during their lifetime, thinking that they have it all figured out, but if they continue to reject Christ, that arrogance will stop the moment they take their last breath, only to find out the truth, that Hades is real, judgment is real and finally, the lake of fire is real.

    Also, regarding all of the things that they have written here on this site against Christ, they will be held accountable for all of it, that is unless they turn back and repent. Regarding their attitude Jesus said:

    “Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven.”

    Everytime someone writes something on this site or any site that is against Christ, they have publicly denied Him and He is turning to God the Father and denouncing that person as well.

    Also, remember something else that Jesus said:

    “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

    Keep the faith brother!

  • 85. Quester  |  August 20, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Haven’t you left yet, Don? I was sure you said something about that. Of course, so did Joe.

    Two years ago.

  • 86. prairie nymph  |  August 20, 2010 at 10:49 am

    The thought of life after death is one thing I miss about Christianity. It was nice to think that if I didn’t get to do something very important to me (like go back to school) because of sacrifice or submission, that I would be rewarded later with an eternity of blessings and adventure.
    It was comforting to think that all those victims of war, famine, genocide, female infanticide… would have another chance but this time without the horrific brutality and harm.
    yeah, it was nice to imagine that the Hitlers of the world would spend eternity serving those they helped destroy.
    that a utopian world could exist

  • 87. Anonymous  |  August 20, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Don—

    Will do. Same to you! Blie the instigator–I see you are still up to your old tricks of bait and switch. LOL

  • 88. Joe  |  August 20, 2010 at 11:12 am

    #87 meant to say Blue. Funniest person on this board—-a troll who enjoys labeling others trolls. Given me some great laughs in the past! :)

    Don—take care. What you say is very true. Take care, and all the best!

  • 89. Joe  |  August 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Quester–

    I know you’ve been on the board for quite a while. I was just curious if you know what ever happened to Roopster? I remember he was having severe back problems for a while. But I haven’t seen him post or moderate in a very long time. Have you had any contact with him at all? Just curious.

  • 90. Davide  |  August 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Quantum suicide and anthropic principle, give it a look .
    I find it difficult to conceive nonexistence as well, I’ve never found a satisfying definition of sentience and I keep wondering why I was born right here and right now.

    Also, check the short story “the egg”

    http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html

  • 91. milehigh  |  August 23, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Davide- the short story of “the egg” sounds like hell on earth to me. I can’t imagine having to live multiple lifetimes, let alone millions of them. The endless toil, suffering, and pain would be terrible. Most of the people in history and a huge percentage of people today live in a world of desperation and misery. They have little chance of anything more than a life of day-to-day toil. So speaks the ‘god’… “In this next life, just will be abused as a child, eat a poor diet, work in a sweatshop for a few dollars a day, support five children after your husband dies young, all while living under an oppressive government and religious system”. Have Fun!

  • 92. withheld  |  August 23, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Hey, Don made it to “Fundies Say the Darndest Things!” fstdt.net Congratulations!

  • 93. Davide  |  August 24, 2010 at 7:21 am

    milehigh,just one more reason to make this world a better place and treating others better, isn’t it?
    I’ve had an experience as a missionary, although a short one in one of the poorest parts of Mexico. While everyone was going through things that are unthinkable to us, most of them seemed happier than most people here, so I guess the parameters to judge what is a good life and what isn’t change depending on our experience.

    I believe it would be way worst to “have been” someone such as Hitler or Torquemada and remembering about it after a life in which you were a decent person… at least I would know the persons who I killedand torptured were me and not someone else, that should ease the guilt a little.

  • 94. prairie nymph  |  August 24, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I know my carbon molecules will be reincarnated, but I doubt they will carry guilt with them.
    If I have any dark matter or dark energy, perhaps that may be passed on differently in another dimension or outside our time or something.

  • 95. Davide  |  November 10, 2010 at 6:44 am

    All these “believe or you’ll burn arguments” are as threatening as a robber saying: “give me your money or I’ll shot you with my invisible gun”.
    You want to convince a nonbeliever?
    Bring us proofs.
    Not claims, not threats, not promises of eternal happiness.

    Proofs.

  • 96. Don McAllister  |  November 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    So Davide, if you can’t recognize the handy work of God by the stars, the way the sun provides light and heat, the way the earth keeps its seasons, the variety of animals with their prey and predator qualities, the variety of tropical fish with all of the designs and colorings, the variety of fruit trees with their variety of flavours, the process of human conception and how all of the millions of sperm are designed to swim and locate one egg and which contains the blueprints for that persons characteristics and I could go on and on. If you think all of this happened by the accident of evolution, then I quess if you want proof, you will unfortunately just have to wait until you take your last breath, then you will have your answer.

    The Jewish leaders said the same thing as you to Jesus “We would see a sign,” but Jesus said “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. And of course Jesus resurrected and was seen by over 500 witnesses. The bottom line is, since you say, “Not claims, not threats, not promises of eternal happiness, then you will have to wait until you take your last breath to get your answer. No threat, it’s just the only option left.

  • 97. BigHouse  |  November 11, 2010 at 8:25 am

    then you will have to wait until you take your last breath to get your answer. No threat, it’s just the only option left.

    Of course an omniportent god could reveal himself unequivocally to each and every human being who ever lived if he wanted to. Your god chooses to remain mysterious which GUARANTEES a subset of human beings will roast in eternal tortuous fire due to unbelief. This, of course, is antithetical to an all-loving being.

    So your god is either the most malicious monster that ever existed or is made up.

  • 98. Davide  |  November 12, 2010 at 5:12 am

    “you will unfortunately just have to wait until you take your last breath, then you will have your answer.”
    Whoa Don McAllister, lower that invisible gun.

    Now, let’s deal with your “argument by trees”.
    A muslim would see all the things you describred as signs of Allah’s magnificience. How is your claim more valid than his?
    Also, could you explain me one thing? It’s about god’s handywork.
    About the stars to be precise. Try googling hubble. Now look at the mind numbing amount of galaxies you see. Everyone of them is filled with hundreds of thousands of star. Some are so far away that we wouldn’t be able to reach them even if we travelled at full lightspeed for decades.
    And yet you seem to believe this whole universe was created in function of earth.
    But let’s even assume you are right: there is a god.
    Now what you need to prove is that it is the god of your particular religion and that he thinks exaclty how described in the bible.
    Even if I had 100% proof that there is a god, I still wouldn’t be a christian because, let’s face it, it really makes little sense.
    I would at least pick a religion that has some kind of coherent logic.

    PS: evolution isn’t an accident and sperm isn’t designed to do anything. I say this again, knowing it will bear no fruit.

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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